Impact of US Visa Ban : Gig Workers and Training STEM Graduates in America

Amid the rising unemployment rate and demand to protect American jobs in the US, President of the United States Donald Trump signed an executive order in June suspending the entry of several categories of visa holders including the H-1B visa which most foreign IT firms apply for to send their workforce to the USA. This ban could extend into the US government’s new fiscal year beginning October 1 and could restrict any new H1-B holder outside the country from coming to work until the suspension is lifted. 

With the Covid-19 pandemic already wreaking havoc in many businesses, will the US visa ban hurt the tech companies? What can they do to mitigate the losses and come up as winners? 

What is the H-1B visa?

The H1-B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows companies to employ foreigners for up to six years in positions for which they can’t find suitable American employees. But not everyone can get the H-1B visa easily; The applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree or the foreign equivalent of it, and the applicant must possess deep knowledge in his specified field. So, only experienced foreign professionals who meet the specific job requirement of the employer are eligible for getting an H1-B visa.

Will the US visa ban affect companies in the USA?

The main motive behind the US visa ban is to help the American workers financially in these difficult times. Due to the high level of unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic, many American workers are jobless and struggling to meet their daily needs. Thus, by blocking the temporary work visas, the US government wants to push the companies in America to hire American workers instead of foreign workers. 

As of now, the latest visa restrictions do not apply to visa-holders who are already within the U.S., or those who are outside the country and have already been issued valid visas. This is likely to remain in force until the end of the 2020 calendar year. So, U.S firms and Indian corporations who rely on foreign nationals working in the U.S will be unable to hire experienced foreign professionals as long as the ban on visa stands. However, experts predict that the US visa ban may not have a significant impact in the long term due to changing business models.  This is a great opportunity for American graduates and professionals to showcase their skills and get employed in big corporations. 

How can these companies adapt to ensure business continuity?

Currently, top tier Indian corporations in the USA have nearly 60% of the local hires and the impact of the US visa ban could be limited. But, if the ban continues beyond the pandemic, the Indian firms and other foreign firms who rely on foreign workers would have to find a new way to ensure business continuity. However, there are certain ways in which these companies can mitigate the losses.

Gig economy business model:

Hiring gig workers can prove to be a profitable solution for corporations relying on a skilled foreign workforce. Also, with the digital workplace and booming gig economy, the nature of work is changing and businesses across the world can utilize this shift for implementing a greater workforce for their business. By employing gig workers,   

Businesses can also make this process easier by shifting this workload to a professional agency like Intone. Intone can provide experienced and skilled gig workers on-demand to companies on an urgent basis. Companies can also save a lot of time and money in this process since temp agencies usually have a ready pool of qualified candidates who are suitable for the job.

Hiring skilled American graduates:

STEM-educated Americans are ready to work for big tech companies in the US. But as these tech companies expect only experienced and highly skilled candidates, so most fresh American graduates go unnoticed. But the current situation has created a need for skilled professionals across the US and this is a golden opportunity for fresh American graduates. All they need is the right skill set and knowledge to make use of this opportunity and get hired in top firms. This would benefit both corporations and America as a whole.

Professional agencies like Intone can provide a solution to both these issues. Intone recruits fresh American graduates and trains them on advanced technology concepts. These trained American graduates are then deployed to top companies as interns. Intone takes the full liability of them as an intern and when they are fully ready to be a part of an organization, they can get hired as a full-time employee. 

The main intention of temporarily banning work visas is to save more jobs for the American people. Although some argue that this move might have a negative impact on the US economy, most experts agree that this is a great opportunity for American citizens to showcase their skills as well as for the companies operating in the USA to employ a fresh American-workforce. Thus, in the current scenario, hiring STEM-educated Americans and employing gig workers can be valuable for both the tech corporations looking for a skilled workforce and the American economy as a whole.